Healing the Struggling TODs

West
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
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Poor walkability and skimpy parking inhibit use of the Slauson Blue Line station in Los Angeles (Photo © Nick Rother)

Not all TODs (transit oriented developments) were created equal. So ULI Los Angeles has launched a series of TOD Technical Assistance Panels to re-strategize under-performing transportation centers. The first of these workshops – led by volunteer urban-design professionals – presented its findings on February 19 at LA’s Slauson Avenue Blue Line station. The  station suffers from poor security; poor pedestrian connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood (including an above-grade platform separated from street life); and poor insulation from noxious industrial uses. Panel recommendations focused on getting people to the station and adding retail. This included a security kiosk, improved lighting, and more visible crosswalks and sidewalks. But a key proposal may rankle those who support TODs purely to get people out of cars: The ULI TAP urges more parking… particularly, a new parking structure connecting to the boarding platform. “Adding parking is not ‘good’ from a typical green perspective, but it will increase ridership,” said Jonathan Watts, Slauson TAP chair and principal with Cuningham Group Architecture. Indeed, many successful TODs – from Long Beach’s Blue Line stations to the large Metrolink hubs – include strong “park and ride” components. ULI LA presents its final proposal in about a month. Three other TOD TAPs are planned.

–Jack Skelley

Jack Skelley volunteers for ULI Los Angeles and represents Cuningham Group Architecture.

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